Because libel proceedings are so expensive, and because the law insists on proof of “serious harm” for the claim to be upheld, you’d think that celebrities would only choose to bring these suits when the circumstances were extremely dire – but a little look through our archive of legal threats shows that that’s not always the case…
In 2007, Le Bon and le boys played a special concert for their fan club members. A lovely idea in principle but the actual gig was, by all accounts, a bit of a shitshow.
After we received firsthand testimony of this from friends, Popbitch readers and multiple members of the Duran Duran fan club, we scoured Duran Duran fan forums to see how their interpretation checked out. The general reaction online we found? Not good.
So we wrote this:
We know that the enjoyment of gigs can often be pretty subjective. That’s fine. We also know that everyone can have a bad night, and it gave us no real pleasure to dig Duran Duran in the ribs just for the sport of it (it’s not like they’re Kasabian or Sum 41, or anyone like that). But it seemed like a fairly uncontentious story.
Still, someone somewhere decided that we had maligned them to such an extent that the “world famous pop group Duran Duran” felt compelled to hire Schillings lawyers to complain that they had been been highly defamed.
We can’t republish too much of the letter verbatim, owing to rules regarding copyright, but needless to say: the letter didn’t end there.
Thankfully, our sources (paid-up and pissed off members of the Duran Duran fan club) were only too prepared to write testimonials backing up our story – some of which ran to multiple pages, such was their displeasure…
Occasionally when a celebrity is really mad about something, they’ll pay to have their lawyers send letters out to everyone. And we mean everyone.
Automated mail merge software will do a lot of the heavy lifting here, but Cameron Diaz was clearly so outraged at whatever it was that Life & Style Weekly wrote about her flirtations that she was happy to pay whatever it costs to have some office junior stuff hundreds and hundreds of these physical pages into envelopes and send them.
Because if we’re getting one, you can be sure that every magazine you see on the newsstand will have got one too.
Reputation management is a serious business…
Geri Halliwell (’s Manager)
Sometimes there’s just no telling who you’re going to upset. When we wrote a story back in 2001 poking fun at Geri Halliwell for covering James Brown’s Too Funky In Here, we were braced for a letter from Geri – thinking she might object to our calling her “The Poison Dwarf”.
The person we definitely weren’t expecting to hear from was Geri’s manager, suggesting that we’d gravely maligned him.
(NB: One of the inadvertent joys of this is when people send us a threatening email by replying to our newsletter, using our own stupid subject lines – in this case “The Mini-tit Miracle”…)
True to his word, a letter came through the next day.
Usually you’d think a manager would take pride in their ability to work the strings of their acts, even if they didn’t necessarily want to brag about it. Not Geri’s manager though. He didn’t seem to want anyone knowing that he was good at his job.
Which is fine by us. We’ll never dream of mentioning it again.